The First Word

While relaxing on my back porch the other day, with my dog in my lap and the sun in my eyes, I allowed my mind to drift in lazy spirals. Talk about the epitome of privilege. Doing nothing. If this were the 1800’s, I’d be out there chopping wood for the winter. Anyway.

I have always been fascinated with firsts. I once wrote a post entitled, Who Was the First Person to Think Lobster Would be Good to Eat(Whomever it was, bless him or her.)

Following that tangent, it occurred to me that someone had to be the first person to utter a word. Who was it? And what distinguishes a word from a grunt? For my purposes, let’s define a word as a name for something or someone or a concept. (I know that’s overly simplistic, but hey, it works for me as I bask in the sun.)

So, did some adult suddenly realize there was value in being able to name things, or was a baby’s first word the first word? If it was a baby, the word was probably some form of Ma, as it usually is. Ma is kind of the sound you make when enjoying mother’s milk. Ma is the source of food, after all, and food is critical to survival.  So that’s a possibility.

But what if the first word came from an adult? What would it be? What could have been so important that it would cause one to bridge that societal gap? Perhaps some simplistic form of “Saber Toothed Tiger.” Or simply, “Run!”

Whatever the word was, I wonder if its speaker realized that this was a huge deal. By making that sound he or she was destined to change the world. Even this humble blog wouldn’t have been possible without that person.

Given our inherent selfishness, especially when faced with survival, the word could have been “mine,” or “give”. I doubt it would have been anything as complex as “love”, because how could you possibly be sure that love meant the same thing to you as it does to the next person?

Hmmm… maybe it was love, after all.

1_neanderthal

Like the way my weird mind works? Then you’ll enjoy my book! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

 

 

2 thoughts on “The First Word

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